Friday, September 23, 2022

Rare Ghost Gun Found in Michigan Gun Disposal List


Michigan law requires police and sheriff departments to turn confiscated firearms over to the state police. The state publishes a list of firearms each month, which have not been claimed. From the website:

The information below identifies firearm(s) confiscated by a Michigan law enforcement agency and turned over to the Michigan State Police (MSP) pursuant to MCL 28.434 and MCL 750.239.

List of Weapons to be Destroyed:

List of weapons to be destroyed October 2022 (public notice date 9-1-2022).  

If you are claiming ownership of any firearm(s) listed, please write
or call within thirty (30) days of the date of public notice. In
addition to your ownership claim, you must be authorized to possess

If no valid ownership claim is received by MSP within thirty (30)
days of the date of public notice, the firearm(s) listed above will be destroyed.

Firearm(s) listed above are not for sale.

The firearms are listed for 30 days so owners can identify them and apply to have them returned.

If no one claims the firearms, they are destroyed. Michigan law does not require they be destroyed.  The destruction of the firearms has become a wasteful tradition.

Michigan police destroy about half a million dollars worth of firearms each year for political purposes.

The monthly lists contain the serial numbers (or lack of serial numbers) of the confiscated firearms. Therefore, the lists provide a way to determine how many firearms are confiscated without serial numbers. It is unlikely many firearms without serial numbers are returned to owners, as it would be difficult to prove ownership.

In the list of firearms to be destroyed in October, there are  555 total firearms. Of those, there are 33 without serial numbers, or 6 percent. Of the 33 without serial numbers, 26 were manufactured without serial numbers, before serial numbers were required by federal law. Six had their serial numbers removed. One was a homemade firearm sometimes referred to as a "ghost gun".  It was a  PF94OC.

Of the 555 firearms confiscated by police in Michigan, one was a "ghost gun", and 32 others did not have serial numbers. None of the sample with serial numbers (94%) had been traced to a legitimate owner.

This shows how ineffective the gun trace system is, and how silly it is to claim "ghost guns" are a problem.

There were 26 times as many guns which had been legally manufactured without serial numbers as there were "ghost guns". There were six times as many guns whose serial numbers had been removed as there were "ghost guns".

There were 554 times as many guns for whom tracing was irrelevant, than the single "ghost gun". 

There are hundreds of millions of guns who were made so long ago,  tracing ownership makes no sense, because the guns have changed hands numerous times, and the original owner is long dead.

The only way "ghost guns" are a problem is if you believe "more guns, more problems".  That is a delusion.

It is primarily a delusion of those who do not own guns and know little about them.

More guns do not mean more problems.

Kentucky requires their state police to sell confiscated guns through the legal dealer network, the same as new guns.  Their gun sales bring in about $850,000 per year, which is spent by Kentucky police, mostly for equipment.

The publication of the Michigan list shows us "ghost guns" are not a problem.

Gun tracing is not cost effective.

Michigan is deliberately wasting half a million dollars a year, because of inertia and political delusion.


©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

I fail to see the difference between a long gun manufactured prior to 1968 without a serial number, one that has only a record from the manufacturer to the initial distributor, or one made by an individual in their home workshop with or without a serial number.


Bob Sutterfield said...

I used the Wayback Machine to retrieve the Michigan State Police gun destruction announcements back to 2014. The stats look like

date / destroyed / no serial / defaced / homemade / unknown
202210 / 555 / 16 / 8 / 7 / 1 / 1
202204 / 412 / 24 / 0 / 9 / 9 / 0
202203 / 535 / 24 / 0 / 14 / 0 / 0
202107 / 693 / 22 / 0 / 17 / 0 / 0
202101 / 304 / 15 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0
201911 / 455 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
201901 / 419 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
201811 / 500 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
201805 / 566 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
201701 / 100 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0

Of firearms with no serial, they didn’t start noting age as the reason until the October 2022 destruction batch.
In October 2022, 2 Polymer80 pistols will be destroyed, of which one has a serial number and the other has none.

In April 2022 they destroyed 7 Polymer80 pistols, all with no serial number. In April 2022 they also destroyed three rifles of make=Unknown and model=Assembled or model=Unknown, of which two had no serial and one had a defaced serial; also one Unknown/Unknown pistol and one unknown/unknown type “RB”, both with no serial number.

In all of 2017, 2018, and 2019, they reported destroying only one firearm (a Stevens shotgun) with no serial, and none with defaced or unknown serials. Perhaps they didn’t announce the impending destruction of firearms without serial numbers because without a serial they anticipated no way for an owner to reclaim their stolen firearm, the only purpose described in the enabling legislation. The published list has expanded to include missing or defaced serial numbers, because its purpose has expanded to include delivering the political value in those figures.

Beginning in 2021, the lists have Make / Model / Type / Caliber / Serial.
Before that, the lists have Make / Type / Caliber / Serial and there’s less standardization for Make.

There seems to be no regular schedule for gun destruction events. I believe I tallied all the notifications beginning in 2017, but it’s hard to be certain because the events announced in 2020 just re-published the same list from the November 2019 event.

Dean Weingarten said...

Excellent work, Bob.

You can contact me at

I think the inclusion of mission or defaced serial numbers works to our advantage.